Lexus USA’s 2008 YTD Sales vs. BMW, Mercedes & Audi

Lexus Logo

With the year-to-year decrease in Lexus US auto sales becoming more and more pronounced, I thought it might be a good idea to do some number comparisons as a way to get some perspective.

First thing, here’s the raw facts of Lexus’ first-half sales when compared to the competition:

Manufacturer YTD 2008 YTD 2007 % Change
Lexus 136,711 160,202 -14.1%
BMW 131,513 144,579 - 9.0%
Mercedes 119,279 118,240 0.9%
Audi 45,023 45,711 -1.5%

Even with the 14.1% drop in sales, Lexus is still managing to stay ahead of BMW. Admittedly, Lexus’ percentage change is the highest of the group, but it’s not entirely unexpected.

Right from the start, it was clear that Lexus USA wasn’t expecting 2008 to be a banner year. General manager Mark Templin even went as far to say “If I sell 1,000 more cars this year, I’d be happy.” This would indicate that there was a scheduled holding pattern in effect, due to the current economic climate in the United States.

It’s unfortunate, then, that the latest updates to the Lexus lineup are the most expensive. The LS 600hL, the LX 570, and the IS-F are all big-budget vehicles, and aren’t the type to boost the unit numbers. Contrast this to BMW’s introduction of the 1-Series, and the dropping gap between the two companies makes complete sense.

One thing’s for sure, it’s going to be a real competition to see who ends up on top this year.

Lexus Canada Model Price Reduction

Lexus Canada Price Reductions

TPP commenter Jesse P.S reminded me of something that was lost in the shuffle of the RX prototype video and the June sales reports — Lexus Canada dropped their prices significantly on July 1st. Here’s the table:

Canadian Model Price Reductions
Vehicle Old MSRP New MSRP
2008 IS 250 $36,550 $31,900
2008 ES 350 $42,900 $39,900
2008 SC 430 $86,100 $78,200
2008 LS 460 $85,800 $80,100
2009 RX 350 $44,350 $42,950
2008 GX 470 $68,500 $65,800
2008 GS 350 AWD $65,250 $61,000
2008 GS 350 RWD $52,900 $51,000
2008 LX 570 $101,400 $84,600
2008 LS 600h L $125,400 $119,400
2008 RX 400h $55,050 $53,650
2008 GS 450h $71,100 $69,200

This is a stark a market correction as I’ve ever seen. The LX 570 alone sees a cut of $16,800. Even with the smallest reduction (which happens to be the bestselling RX 350) the price is still reduced by $1,400.

(Being a Canadian, my only complaint is that the current apple of my eye, the GS 450h, wasn’t brought more inline with the US price of $55,800. Still, I’m sure potential LX owners are pretty happy about the news.)

[Source: Lexus Canada]

The Fonz & The Lexus Hybrid

The Fonz and the Lexus Hybrid

The Fonz is trading in his motorcycle for a Lexus RX 400h, as Henry Winkler is making his way across Britain on a children’s book tour to support the government’s 2008 National Year of Reading:

Winkler, world famous for his role as “The Fonz” in the hit television show Happy Days., is now the author of a best-selling series of children’s novels about a boy called Hank Zipzer, the World’s Greatest Underachiever. Winkler based Hank on his own experiences as a boy with dyslexia.

The tour kicked off on 30 June and will continue until 10 July. First News and Winkler are visiting 11 schools* during their tour and stopping off at branches of W.H. Smith in Kingston upon Thames, Birmingham and Manchester along the way, where Winkler will be signing copies of his books.

I’ll be honest, I had no idea that Winkler was a successful children’s author, but I do know that this is my second “Celebrity drives hybrid in Britain” story today, and that definitely counts for something.

[Source: Autoblog Green]

Paul McCartney’s Lexus LS 600h Spotted

Paul McCartney's Lexus LS 600hL

Considering the furor it created, I had fully expected the LS 600hL gift that Lexus airfreighted to Paul McCartney would never see the light of day. However, Sir Paul was recently spotted being chauffeured around London in the dark maple red hybrid. Also of note:

Such is vegetarian Sir Paul’s passion for issues surrounding animal rights and the environment that he took out the leather interior and had it replaced with cloth.

The singer demanded that no animal products were used in his new car and it has been fitted with a hand-stitched green woven fabric.

Lexus said of the decision to send the vehicle by plane: ‘To ensure the car’s quality and security, as well as to meet marketing deadlines, it was airshipped on a regularly-scheduled commercial flight to the UK.’

Ok, enough of about that. I feel like a gossip columnist.

[Source: The Daily Mail]

Lexus Canada June 2008 Sales Report

Red Lexus IS

In contrast to the current US sales situation, Lexus Canada had their best June ever, posting a 22.4% increase over last year.

At 1,557 total units sold, the number pales in comparison to the US sales volume, but the rate of growth is very impressive, particularly in regard to the SUV market. Lexus Canada sold 623, which is good enough for a 55% increase over June 2007. The cars had a more modest gain of 7.4%, or 934 total sales.

The biggest eye-opener is the increase in hybrid sales, which at 192 units sold, represents a 97.9% increase over last year, and made up over 12% of all Lexus Canada sales.

[Source: Toyota]